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Premature to test constitutionality of NJAC, Govt. to plead before SC

A-G has said that its effect would materialise only after two months

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

With the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) law notified, the government may argue before the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it is still too “premature” for the court to test the new law, and should wait to see whether it falters.

A five-judge Bench, led by Justice Anil R. Dave, will start hearing on April 15 a clutch of petitions demanding that the law be declared “unconstitutional and void.”

The NJAC, notified on April 13, replaces the collegium system of judicial appointments with immediate effect.

Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi said the law could be challenged only after the Act was implemented and its impact felt in a specific instance of judicial appointment.

Mr. Rohatgi said a “concrete case” illustrating the law’s effect on the public would materialise only a couple of months after the law was implemented.

'NJAC a required change'

NJAC
NJAC

During the first round of arguments on the admissibility of petitions on the National Judicial Appointments Commission, the Attorney-General dissuaded the judiciary from making “disembodied” decisions on matters of policy and laws to come into force. on the ground.

At the preliminary hearing before a three-judge Bench, Mr. Rohatgi termed the collegium system “completely illegal.” He described the NJAC as a “change” which should be “first allowed to work.”

 

“See how it works and then challenge it if necessary,” Mr. Rohatgi told the court. He had dismissed apprehensions about the judiciary losing its independence with the advent of the NJAC. “A change is required. You have to trust someone. You can’t police everything and have the police to police the police,” Mr. Rohatgi submitted. Countering him, senior advocate Fali Nariman, appearing for Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association, had called the NJAC Act a “still-born child.”

 

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